Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

June 5, 2013

Homicide victim’s ID confirmed

TAHLEQUAH — Authorities on Tuesday officially confirmed the identity of a local professor found dead in her Tahlequah home last week.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said the victim, Dr. Tiffany Rene Maher, was found in her home on Kupsick by a Northeastern State University officer.

University President Dr. Steve Turner said the NSU Department of Public Safety responded to a call from the chemistry department Friday when Maher, an assistant professor of chemistry, had not arrived at an academic conference where she was scheduled to speak.

“Our officers responded to her home and the Tahlequah Police Department was subsequently contacted,” said Turner.

Details released about the homicide remain vague. The cause and manner of Maher’s death has not been officially determined.

New information also surfaced Tuesday with the release of a basic incident report filed by a Tahlequah police officer.

The report indicates officers smelled smoke inside Maher’s home when they arrived and discovered her death. Four cats were also found dead in the home.

One source has said the animals may have died as a result of a fire and the subsequent lack of oxygen in the home. The report filed Tuesday indicates arson is involved in the case.

Tahlequah Chief of Police Nate King said a certified fire investigation specialist with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is helping TPD and the OSBI investigate the fire in the home.

Police have not said whether any suspects have been pinpointed, but authorities in Tulsa discovered Maher’s missing car at an apartment complex near 81st Street and Highway 169 Monday evening. The man who reported the car to authorities said it had been parked there for about a week, according to media reports out of Tulsa.

“The Tulsa Police Department secured the vehicle until [Tahlequah] detectives arrived on scene,” King said. “The OSBI has been tasked with processing the vehicle for evidence. Detectives of the Tahlequah Police Department continue to follow up on leads in the case.”

The OSBI said analysts will try to lift fingerprints from Maher’s car in hopes of garnering new leads.

“[We] are grateful for the assistance provided by so many fellow law enforcement agencies and concerned citizens,” King said. “Anyone with information in regard to the murder of Tiffany Maher should contact the Tahlequah Police Department or the OSBI.”

A press release issued Tuesday by NSU described the campus community as “devastated and heartbroken” by the situation.

Maher “epitomized excellence in teaching and was respected and admired by her students and her colleagues on the Broken Arrow and Tahlequah campuses,” Turner said.

Maher joined NSU’s faculty in 2009. She was recently recognized by the NSU faculty with the university’s highest recognition, the Circle of Excellence Award for Teaching.

Dr. Martin Venneman, dean of the NSU College of Science and Health Professions, said the department was “stunned” to hear of Maher’s death.

“Not only has the college lost a Circle of Excellence in Teaching award-winner from its chemistry faculty, but it has lost a leader in the development of supplemental instruction across the lower division curricula as a way to enhance achievement of first-generation college students in rigorous general-education science and mathematics courses,” Venneman said. “Dr. Maher was known as a friend, an advocate, and a mentor by her students; revered by her peers as an exceptional educator; and respected throughout the College for her professional achievements.”

Friends and colleagues have said Maher was involved in the community and volunteered her time at student events while supporting local nonprofit groups for women. Maher’s neighbors have said she worked diligently to find new homes for stray cats.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Dr. Maher’s mother and father and her extended family,” said Turner. “While respecting the family’s privacy, NSU will continue to provide support to them, Dr. Maher’s students, and her colleagues as we face the unimaginable tragedy of losing such a gifted instructor and researcher at the age of 38.”

Plans are under way for a memorial service to be held late next week at the Tahlequah campus. University officials also indicated the Maher family will establish a scholarship program through the NSU Foundation.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • ths-jazz-2.jpg THS jazz band gets up early to hone performance skills

    It means getting up an hour earlier, and it doesn’t count as a class, but the jazz band at Tahlequah High School enjoys the dedication of a group of enthusiastic students.
    The THS Jazz Band practices every day at 7 a.m., an hour before the start of classes. It numbers 17, and is led by Director Orien Landis.
    “They have to do this before school and they get no class credit, but we have a full band,” Landis said. “They are really excited about this.”

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Easter-basket-kid.jpg Easter traditions date back centuries

    Some Christians may lament a partial shift of focus, but a Christian holy day - perhaps the most holy of all – is this Sunday, and it will be marked with celebrations all around the world.
    The Christian holiday of Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus. For centuries, the observant have fasted, reflected or done penance in the weeks leading to the holiday. But today, many also associate the holiday with the Easter bunny, candy, and kites. In 2013, Americans spent $2.1 billion on Easter candy.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Some oppose minimum wage hike; others decry strong-arming by state

    President Barack Obama and the U.S. Senate recently announced a push to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 per hour, to $10.10. On the heels of the announcement, an initiative petition was introduced in Oklahoma City to raise the minimum wage to the suggested $10.10. If it gained 80,000 signatures, it would be put to a vote of the people.
    This legislative session, a bill passed prohibiting municipalities from setting a minimum was or vacation and sick-day requirements. Gov. Mary Fallin signed the bill into law earlier this week.

    April 18, 2014

  • Phone scam takes $500 from couple

    Authorities are warning Cherokee County residents to watch for a costly phone scam that recently targeted a local couple and ended in their loss of $500.
    According to sheriff’s deputies, a couple contacted authorities after losing $500 to the scam. The couple received a phone call from a man who identified himself only as “Mr. Green.” He told the couple they had won $1.5 million through Publisher’s Clearing House, but to collect the money, the couple would have to purchase a $500 money card to cover various fees.

    April 18, 2014

  • Missing local teen found dead

    The body of a missing 17-year-old boy was found in southern Cherokee County on Thursday, sheriff’s investigators said.
    Brikk Pritchett was reported missing earlier this month after disappearing on March 30, a day before his 17th birthday.

    April 18, 2014

  • ts honor flight 1.tif Flight of honor

    World War II veteran Charles Harra flew missions for the Army Air Corps, and if you ask him which flight was his most memorable, he’ll say it was his 35th mission.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man charged after leading authorities on wild chase

    Prosecutors have formally charged a man who allegedly led authorities on a wild high-speed pursuit across Cherokee County in late March.

    April 17, 2014

  • Sex offender bonds out after failing to register

    A Cherokee County man is out on bond after being arrested last week for failing to register as a sex offender.

    April 17, 2014

  • jn radiator shop.jpg ‘Greenbelt’ progressing

    Crews this week began to demolish an abandoned radiator shop at the corner of South Street and Guinn Avenue.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • ts slut walk.tif SlutWalk shines spotlight on crime

    “Two, four, six, eight, stop the violence, stop the rape; slut, slut, ho, ho, yes means yes and no means no!”
    This was the battle cry across the campus of Northeastern State University, as the student branch of the American Association of University Women held its third annual SlutWalk Wednesday.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Stocks